Cost of Health Care

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Above-average health care costs are a continuing challenge for Maine.

Unfavorable movement since the last available data

Benchmark: Maine’s health care spending as a percentage of total personal expenditures will decline to the New England average by 2030.

Overview Fig. A Fig. B

Overview

Our measure of health care costs tracks the percentage of total personal expenditures that are devoted to health care. Maine people and businesses consistently identify the high cost of health care as a major concern.

In 2020, health care spending in Maine stood at 17.3% of all personal expenditures, down from its peak of 18.7% in 2016. While health care expenditures in Maine are higher than the U.S. and New England rates, they are trending downward. They fell sharply in 2020, largely due to the decline of noncritical services during COVID. Still, in Maine and across the nation, about 1 in 6 dollars generated in the economy goes to medical expenses.

In 2019, the median contribution for family health insurance coverage of a Maine employee was $5,000. By this measure, Maine ranked 16th highest of the 50 states. For employers, the median contribution was $16,000 – 6th highest.

Fig. A

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Health Care Expenditures as Percentage of Total Personal Expenditures, 2009-2019

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Fig. B

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Median Contribution for Family Coverage, 2019

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality